Help With Painting With Acrylic on Denim

Blue jeans Embellish denim pants, jackets or other garments with paint. Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

If you want to paint on denim with acrylic, it's important to first familiarize yourself with some of the characteristics of acrylic paints. One thing to be particularly mindful of is that acrylic is a fast-drying paint and can easily dry out before your project is complete. An advantage to using acrylic on denim is that acrylic lets you build on layers, so you can apply the acrylic with a thin coat or make it heavier by painting more layers.

Video of the Day

Preparing the Denim

Washing the denim is the first step in preparing the fabric. You don't want to paint with acrylic on dirty denim because grime or residue that is left in the material will be painted over and could interfere with your masterpiece. Throw the denim into a load of laundry and use a mild detergent. Avoid using any fabric softener; fabric softener will give the denim an oily residue, which will make it more difficult to paint over. After the denim is washed, dry it completely in the dryer. Washing and drying the denim may cause the fabric to slightly shrink, which is beneficial for stretching out the fibers so that the paint doesn't buckle.

Preparing the Paints

Acrylic paint dries fast. Once applied, the acrylic can dry within a few minutes. The paint can also dry out if you empty the paint tubes onto a palette or in an egg carton in advance. Because of this it's important to time the painting project so that you expose the paint to the air just before you are ready to begin. Plan exactly which paints you want to use for the craft so that you aren't drying out paint that you won't use.

Using Fabric Mediums

As acrylic paint begins to dry on the denim — and as you wear the denim and run it through the laundry — the paint may become flaky and peel off, which is the nature of denim and other fabrics. To avoid this, mix the acrylic paint with a fabric medium first. A fabric medium, which can be purchased from a craft store, is designed to stay on fabrics like denim and can stand up more effectively to wear and tear than plain paint. The acrylic paint and fabric medium should be mixed according to the directions on the packaging.

Paint Application

When it comes to painting directly onto denim you have some choices about the application process. One idea is to use a stencil and to paint a design that is pre-drawn. Another idea is to freehand the painting onto the fabric. You can freehand the image first with a fabric marker and then go over it with the acrylic paint. The acrylic paint is thick enough to cover the evidence of the fabric marker. Apply the acrylic paint with a natural hair paintbrush, which is effective for producing clean, streak-free strokes.

Related Stories


Caught in the Middle

Caught in the MiddleHelp for the Sandwich Generation- Twenty million American adults are caring for aging parents at the same time they\'re raising young children. Known as the Sandwich Generation, the

The Importance of Senior Fitness

The Importance of Senior Fitness- According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise and physical activity are some of the best things older adults can do to stay healthy. Even moderate ex

Grandparent Getaways

Grandparent GetawaysTrips to take with your grandchildren- \"No parents allowed.\" It\'s not a sign on a kid-only clubhouse, it\'s the first rule of travel for memory-making grandparent/grandchild vacatio

Comfortably Aging in Place

Comfortably Aging in PlaceHaving lived in the same ranch house for 55 years, John Heck’s grandparents wanted to make any and all necessary accommodations to allow them to peacefully age in place. Usin

Aging with Vitality, Grace and Confidence

Aging with Vitality, Grace and ConfidenceIt’s one of the great ironies of life: Your reward for surviving the tumultuous teen years, establishing a career and nurturing a family culminates in dry skin

3 Ways Seniors Can Control Prescription Costs

3 Ways Seniors Can Control Prescription CostsFor 55 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, the New Year means any new Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans, or any changes to your existing pl

Popular Categories